Islands

Coming to you live from a very small island nation that is extremely good at rugby and claims the pavlova as their own. New Zealand. It’s good to be here. And it’s as good a place as any to get writing again, having been wifi-on-a-laptop-less since arriving in Australia two weeks ago.

Our family gathered on Waiheke Island this past weekend, for the wedding of my cousin. Waiheke Island, covered in vineyards and hemmed by expansive bays and little beaches, hosts something like 64% of all New Zealand weddings.

And, you know, you can kind of see why.

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Wine flowed, family danced – it was spectacular, and everything you fly halfway around the world to get to.

Melbourne and Sydney prefaced our NZ jaunt, and Sydney will come around again after our time in NZ. The weather on both islands – Australia and NZ – has been stunning; big blue skies, hot sun. Jetlagged in Melbourne, we caught some fantastic Aussie Open matches and a curry at our favourite Indian place. We breakfasted with dear friends and met their new baby. In Sydney, we were overwhelmed by family and friends, seeing who we could, while helping Mum and Dad pack for their own international move. Change, huh, the only constant we have.

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The German is sinking more and more into Australianness – he asked me to explain the rules of cricket, and now watches it intently – and I am realising more and more how much Germany has influenced who I am, now, at 29 (that also happened in Sydney. Aren’t I still 25 and trying to figure out the Münsteranians?) several years after I first moved there. There is always something in flux, and that something is usually us.

It’s another beautiful summer’s day out there. The cicadas are singing, the sun is waiting to get its hands on my pink nose and burnt shoulders – one forgets how bloody strong the sun is down here. I am going to go out into that day, start it with a fantastic coffee – one doesn’t forget how good coffee is in Oz and NZ.

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I’ll see you guys very soon.

 

Month of Australia: Melbourne in 3 Days

Day 1

A big hotel breakfast. Browsing and buying at the Book Grocer. Some CBD strolling. A spot of shopping. St Paul’s. Federation Square. China Town. Greek Quarter. Cider on the Yarra. Christmas gingerbread exhibition. Yum Cha. Recovery nap. Lost in Docklands. Life changing curry at the Curry Vault. Sleep. melbcitymelbgingerbread melbindian melbchinatown melbflowers melb melbyumcha

Day 2

Breakfast at the Hardware Societe. Such a cool cafe it hurt to be there (and hurt that it was too cool for EFTPOS facilities). Fried brioche with salted caramel sauce. Baked chorizo eggs upended in my friend’s lap. Another Book Grocer browse. Tram to St Kilda. Rain. St Kilda rendered useless. Shelter sought at The Grocery Bar (not to be confused with the Book Grocer although books featured there and were browsed). Newspapers and lattes inside, waiting for the spitting to stop. Nap. Suzuki Night Food Markets. Sangria and a curious Korean potato treat. Pizza and wine at Trotters in Carlton. melbbooks2melbcoffee melbfoodfestmelbpizza

Day 3

A mini road trip with dear friends. Out of Melbourne, snaking around the coast. Mornington Peninsula. The blue, blue water. Pizza and salad. Iced coffee. Ice cream. Second-hand book shop browsing. Back to Fed Square. A drink in the sun. A bus to the airport. A flight back to Sydney.

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And that is pretty much it for our month of Australia. Catch up on all of it here.